The Takuwe exhibit is traveling to the Red Cloud Heritage Center, the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center and the South Dakota Art Museum. Image: Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies

Native Sun News Today: 'It was a travesty' -- Exhibit portrays Wounded Knee Massacre

Art exhibit portrays Wounded Knee Massacre

By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health and Environment Editor

PINE RIDGE -- An unprecedented audio-visual art exhibit about the Wounded Knee Massacre, “Takuwe,” links Oceti Sakowin talent with audiences across Lakota Territory via admission-free showings and educational events at several venues throughout 2018.

The traveling showcase aims, in part, to inspire tribal governments to coalesce in the designing of a permanent public display facility at the massacre site to examine its role in history.

In English, the name of the show is: “Why”. It focuses on the U.S. military’s December 29, 1890 massacre of 300 native people here, providing context for it from the period preceding it until today, provoking thought about its consequences and action to convert its legacy into opportunity.

The Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) gathered 29 visual artists to create original pieces memorializing the date and more than 300 Lakota contributors to enshrine the number of fallen ancestors.

During an artists’ reception at Red Cloud Heritage Center, collection curator Craig Howe explains a new collage of collages created by Arthur Amiotte, one of hundreds of contributors to an unprecedented traveling audio-visual essay. Photo by Talli Nauman / Native Sun News Today

Poignant in nature, the collection moves viewers and listeners to tears, laughter, hugs, prayers and healing – to name only a handful of its immediate effects. The impacts of its call to action remain to be seen.

During a recent artists’ reception at Red Cloud Heritage Center, where the showing commenced and is ongoing, curator Craig Howe brought together a majority of the core creators in a standing-room-only hall of genius.

They gathered around a red-white-black-and-blue star quilt that makers Frances Davidson and Andrea Lekberg buried on a snowy hillside in late December for unearthing and presentation at this event.

The printer of the brochure for the exhibit said the massacre “is a stain on our history,” Howe recounted at the opening. “It was a travesty.”

Rising to the challenge of portraying the saga are both emerging and established artists from across the continent who are from five of the seven Lakota Nations and live in 10 states and two Canadian provinces.

Besides Lekberg and Davidson, their names include poets Mary Black Bonnet, Lydia Whirlwind Soldier, Patrick LeBeau, Lanniko Lee, Ronya Galligo-Hoblit, Taté Walker, and Autumn White Eyes; Musicians Evelyn “Sissy” GoodHouse, Cedric GoodHouse, Douglas Two Bulls, Michael Two Bulls, Grant Two Bulls, Sequoia Crosswhite, Gerald and Stephen Yellowhawk, Tom Swift Bird, Zachary Dendinger, Travis Hencey, and Trevino Brings Plenty;

And visual artists Arthur Amiotte, Angela Babby, Keith Braveheart, Roger Broer, Dana Claxton, Evans Flamond Sr., Monty Fralick, Jessica Garcia Fritz, JhonDuane Goes In Center, Charles Her Many Horses, Kim Soo Goodtrack, Del Iron Cloud, Athena LaTocha, Layli Long Soldier and Chance White, Donald Montileaux, Kevin Pourier, Melanie Ratzlaff, Dorene Red Cloud, Richard Red Owl, Iris Sully-Sorensen, Sandy Swallow, Paul Szabo, Michael Two Bulls, Ann-erika White Bird, Renelle White Buffalo, Dwayne Wilcox, and Jim Yellowhawk.

Hanging in the gallery, their works are grouped into seven sections, each with its own music and poetry, recorded and printed.


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